An A-Z of Somerset: Farrington Gurney

F is for Farrington Gurney

Wedged between the Somerset link roads of the A37/A39 and A362 lies the unassuming village of Farrington Gurney.

As you might guess from my previous posts, it was the village name that drew me in. The Doomsday Book mentions the village of Ferentone, while Gurney is thought to come from the de Gournay family, who owned the lands in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The village owed a lot to the coal industry. There were three pits in Farrington itself, with a further two in neighbouring Midsomer Norton.

The majority of the houses are old, dressed stone, although as time has passed, newer properties have filled in the gaps between them; on the outskirts – just off the A37 – new buildings have started to sprout up.

As you might expect, a manor house is at the heart of the village – hidden behind high stone walls, is a large property dating back to 1637, which you can only see from tantalising glimpses in the tree line.

The village church – dedicated to St Jon the Baptist – is set in open fields around a mile from the village itself. It’s a small parish – there are less than 1000 residents – and the church is easily visible from form the village (and, more importantly, the manor house, the owners of which presumably paid its construction).

It’s a beautiful little church, though, and its peaceful location adds to the calm surroundings.

One war grave sits quietly in the churchyard, that of Gunner Watts – my next post will talk more about his life.

Farrington Gurney is a lovely little village; there’s a bit of a juxtaposition between the old and the new, and the proximity to two main roads can jar a little, but it fits in to the A-Z nicely.



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